Showing posts from December, 2012

The Naked Truth--From Judith Lynne Hanna

As a burlesque performer with a substantial history as a strip joint stripper, I'm frequently asked what the difference is between burlesque and strip joint stripping, and my favorite difference to cite is that nobody ever asks strip joints strippers what the difference is between burlesque and stripping. Burlesque performers do need to differentiate their style for professional purposes, in order to help the venues and produers who book them choose the right kind of performance for their intentions. Some also prefer not to be conflated with the sex-industry-immediacy of strip joints, while others actually also work as strippers and want to differentiate for professional reasons alone. Many burlesque performers are perfectly comfortable being called strippers and don't care if their moral turpitude is aligned with strip joints. Of course, it rarely occurs to anyone to consider whether or not strip joint strippers would want to be conflated with burlesque. There is some

Jean Idelle at The Burlesque Hall of Fame

The Burlesque Hall of Fame staffers and friends have always worked hard to find women who performed burlesque in the 1940s-1960s and 70s and bring them back together. Some of the most moving things I've ever experienced have been seeing legends find their tribe again for the first time in decades. The following story bears witness to the incredible experience these women often have, and gives you an idea of what it's like to hear their stories an get to know them, and to see them perform with all the knowing charm they had half a century ago. "LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- She crushed the color barrier, crashed the party and did it all dancing. Now at the age of 82, Jean Idelle is burning up the stage for the first time in decades. News 3's Reed Cowan has more on the life of Jean Idelle who went from obscurity to headlining in Las Vegas." Burlesque dancer, 82, takes the stage one more time

How To Rock Red Glitter Lips--from Veronica Varlow!

"The #1 question I get asked by women after I do my shows is…”Where did you get your glitter lipstick?” "Ah, yes. It’s a magical concoction of sorts. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. I mistakenly bought tons of “glitter lipstick” in the past that never did the trick. I learned the secret formula backstage from my burlesque sisters at The Slipper Room." Get Veronica's secrets here! And in case you haven't seen it, here is a a clip of me "teaching" how to makeup glitter lips to our boylesque friend Hard Cory at my book release party show hosted by Storybook Burlesque :

Striptease Expertise

Above: Me stripping out of a red stocking at the Toronto Burlesque Festival. I am incredibly passionate about striptease and the opportunties it provides and the demands it puts upon a performer. I believe that it is a sensational and radical way to think about communicating to viewers that can inform the stripteaser's self-presentation onstage and off. I think the combination of mischief and glamour with the earthiness of sensuality is a step forward in the evolution of self-realization and the acceptance of shamelessly individualized (as opposed to state-regulated) sexuality. I could (and at some point will) got on for hundreds of pages about this. I'm so serious about this kind of fun! One of my favorite classes to teach is Striptease Expertise. Below is the content of the handout I share in the class, a set of tips that serve as reminders for the theories and techniques we explore as a group. It is not the full content of the class, just bullet points of key concepts. St

Stage Kitten Etiquette in Pin Curl Magazine

In my almost-monthly column for Pin Curl Magazine, I get to discuss ways and manners in the business of burlesque. I've written about stage kittens before, but every time I do it I find new ways to appreciate them! Following are some excerpts from the newest issue of Pincurl. “Stage kittens have become iconic elements of many burlesque shows. These are the fabulous creatures you see getting so much time are often also part of the glue that holds the show together. A burlesque show bonus, a stage kitten is the person who picks up the costume pieces and props after a burlesque number. They may also set up props, assist the emcee, gogo dance, sell merchandise between sets, and a whole lot more. A stage kitten can make a show run more smoothly, helping the performers make seamless transitions from number to number.” – Murray Hill Top Tips for Stage Kittens: 1) Ask the producer (or whoever contacted you to book you for the gig) exactly what they need from you. Since stage kittens c